Mobile signal coming soon to London Tubes

Mobile signal on its way to a Tube near you
Mobile signal on its way to a Tube near you

Mobile operators and TfL could be close to agreeing a deal that will see mobile phone signal offered on the London Underground rail network.

Sources have told Mobile Magazine a deal is in the offing and expected to be signed in two weeks, although issues with which company will supply the infrastructure could delay proceedings, with French company Thales in competition with Huawei to manage the services.

Initially the trial will see the Jubilee and Central line converted to areas where businesspeople can shout louder on their mobile to be heard over the deafening train rattling, but the Mayor of London hopes for a wider roll out in time for the Olympics.

'We're sorry, but this announcement has been delayed...'

TfL has confirmed that deals are in still being discussed, with a spokeperson stating:

"TfL and the Mayor of London are currently in discussion with mobile phone operators and other suppliers about the potential provision of mobile phone services on the deep tube network.

"Given the financial pressures on TfL's budgets any solution would need to be funded through mobile operators with no cost to fare or taxpayers. Discussions are ongoing."

TechRadar has contacted the UK's mobile networks for comment, but none would speak on the proceedings at this time.

The issue of mobile signal on London's Underground network has been rumbling on for a long time, with the Digital Britain proposal of nearly two years ago advising that the problem would be solved soon.

However, TfL issued a statement to the contrary, highlighting the intrinsic difficulties in installing such a system - but it looks like that problem has now been solved.

From Mobile Magazine

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.